Human Rights Review

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 363–365 | Cite as

From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism by Amanda B. Moniz

New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016
  • Patrick LacroixEmail author
Book Review

Not merely a product of the most recent phase of globalization or a response to the devastation of the two world wars, international humanitarianism does in fact have a centuries-long history. Such is the chief claim of Amanda Moniz’s From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism, an adaptation of her doctoral research at the University of Michigan. In this relatively brief but richly sourced study, Moniz identifies the caritative work that united Britons and post-independence Americans in common, transatlantic ventures at the end of the eighteenth century.

The developments that made these ties possible were not exclusively political. Moniz, a curator of the National Museum of American History, emphasizes the eighteenth-century shift from charity, exercised at a local and personal level, to institutional and large-scale humanitarianism. Examples of the former include endowments for orphanages and the assistance extended to Acadian refugees in...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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